Stożek Wielki, "big cone" in Polish, is a prominent mountain in the west part of the Silesian Beskids, sharing the highest prominence with Czantoria more north, and making the border with Czech republic. It is a ski resort in winter.
When well known, this mountain is a four star ride, but a lot of attention needs to be paid to the orientation. The quality of the marking is quite poor and it is easy to miss the right junction and ending pushing the bike.
The mountain crest own few very technical spots with a very rocky trail on abrasive sandstone, but everything is manageable. On Kiczora are met some surprising and amazing mushroom-shaped rocky outcrops, whose scramble make a mini-bouldering session and allow panoramic views around.
The rest of the descent after Kiczora is also delicious, but again orientation is a major issue when getting nearer to the Kubalonka pass, at the first houses.
Excess of enthusiasm ? After wonderful Barania Góra, that ride was as poorly managed as yesterday's was successful. Perhaps due to an excess of confidence, I underestimated the orientation issues and got lost during the way up. My punishment was a long and painful bike and walk under the ski pylons which deprived me from what could have been a doable and interesting challenging ascent via the land rover track. Fortunately the ride of the mountain crest gave me back a little balm to the heart. Mixed feelings and regrets after this ride, which was furthermore done under gray sky while the rest of the day was sunny.
Wisła is the local mountain resort. It is very quickly reached from the huge agglomeration of Katowice, driving straight south.
Near the convergence of three international borders, it is equally reached from Czech Republic via Olomouc, or Slovakia from Bratislava and the western motorway of this small country.
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Here the ride as it "should" have been. I'm too ashamed to publish my own itinerary... :)
When to ride
Most of the year. Dry weather strongly advised !